The message was clear on day two of the Energy Department's Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Innovation Summit: If you want to succeed at advancing energy innovation, you need to think and perform like an entrepreneur.
During fireside chats, keynote speeches and panel discussions, speakers lauded the entrepreneurial sprit clearly evident among Summit participants -- many who are leveraging the support of ARPA-E funding to lead transformative energy projects. To date, ARPA-E funded projects have attracted more than $625 million in private sector funding. At least 24 ARPA-E project teams have formed new companies to advance their technologies, and more than 16 ARPA-E projects have partnered with other government agencies for further development. As Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz put it during his introductory remarks, “you all are where ideas go to flourish.”
Day two kicked off with a keynote from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Thomas Friedman. During his speech, Friedman shared a message of empowerment, encouraging attendees to work with passion, persistence and vigor in their efforts to bring transformative energy technologies to the market. “Always be an entrepreneur,” he advised. The Summit continued with discussions on a range of key energy topics -- from strategies to ensure congressional support for energy innovation to efforts to advance the President’s Climate Action Plan.
As the morning sessions came to a close, attendees gathered for one of the Summit’s major attractions -- the Technology Showcase. Featuring hundreds of breakthrough technologies, the Showcase gives Summit participants the opportunity to both highlight their work and identify opportunities to collaborate on new efforts. Many Showcase participants are leading projects supported by ARPA-E funding, including Otherlab, a San Francisco-based company demonstrating a smaller, low-cost heliostat for concentrating solar power systems, and Smart Wire Grid, a startup that successfully commercialized its technology to increase the resiliency and efficiency of existing transmission lines. Take a look through the slideshow above to view more of the innovative technologies on display at the Showcase, as well as highlights from the morning sessions.
After a busy day of idea-sharing, networking and showcasing of entrepreneurial work, the Summit continues tomorrow with a special networking session engaging women in the energy sector, a keynote from Secretary Moniz and presentations focused on the intersection of education and entrepreneurship as well as evolving approaches to global innovation. For live updates from the Summit, follow @Energy or @ARPAE, and for a daily wrap-up, visit Energy.gov.